Voritical Structures of Turbulent Boundary Layers

The XSEDE-funded DNS of Spatially Developing Turbulent Boundary Layers project simulates the three-dimensional turbulent flow over a flat plate. Using XSEDE resources Kraken and Ranger, the project goals are to simulate such fluid flow using the largest Reynolds number ever reported, perform the first direct numerical simulation of fully-resolved droplet-laden isotropic turbulence, and share the generated DNS database with the scientific community. XSEDE ECSS support for this project includes petascale scaling and deployment, development of a high-level HDF5 parallel IO layer (H5DNS), and custom visualization of simulation results.

The time-dependent movement of the vortical structures identified with the λ2-method is represented in this animation extracted from a DNS using 151 billion grid points. A custom visualization system is used to render ray-traced volume renderings of the λ2 field along the turbulent boundary layer from a variety of different viewpoints. Visual cues are enhanced with lighting, shadows, and representation of the rectilinear simulation grid. Evident in the visualizations are the vortical structures as quasi-streamwise tubes and arches.


Antonino Ferrante, University of Washington


David Bock, Lead Visualization Programmer (XSEDE Extended Collaborative Support)


Custom visualization software

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